Illegal Immigrants & Undocumented Workers
The United States is home to millions of undocumented individuals, many of whom reside in the state of California. These foreign-born people do their best to make ends meet. They tend to work tough jobs that involve physical labor, like roofing or construction, since they are not given the same opportunities as legalized citizens. Oftentimes, they are also not given the same rights and benefits, such as workers’ compensation. It is unfortunate that they generally have a difficult time receiving the medical attention they need when they are injured on the job.
At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, we do not tolerate any injustice against workers, especially the denial of workers’ compensation benefits. Our excellent southern California workers’ comp attorneys have compassion for underrepresented people and provide them with aggressive legal representation in their most trying times. If you are an undocumented worker who has been injured on the job, please call us today at (800) 438-7734. Se habla español.
Do Undocumented Workers Qualify for Workers’ Comp in California?
Although the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) has made it unlawful to “hire or recruit or refer for a fee” an undocumented immigrant, several businesses in California, primarily those in the field of agriculture, service, and industry, knowingly hire them, usually to retain profits since undocumented workers tend to accept lower pay.
Fortunately, certain California statutes address and define the rights of undocumented workers, providing them with protection from wrongful business practices. The state’s workers’ compensation statutes explicitly cover undocumented workers, at least with regards to medical bills. It is not yet clear whether they may also receive compensation for lost wages, job training, or other benefits given to citizen workers.
What Problems Do Undocumented Workers in Los Angeles Face?
Although undocumented workers qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under California law, it does not necessarily mean they always receive them. The claims process is more often than not slow, long, and laborious. This can be especially problematic for undocumented workers since they may not receive adequate medical care before being forced to return to their country of origin.
The situation would improve for undocumented workers if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received better funding and conducted investigations more thoroughly and more often. Also, employers must face the threat of more severe penalties for breaking work regulations if they are to take the safety and well-being of their employees seriously.
Until these changes are made, undocumented workers will need the assistance of experienced Los Angeles workers’ comp lawyers if they wish to receive adequate benefits in a timely fashion.